Canadian Authorities May Have Euthanized the Wrong Cannibal

A cannibal may be lurking in the Canadian byways. No, it's not the former porn star Luka Rocco Magnotta who allegedly ate body parts of his boyfriend, 33 year old Jun Lin. This time the perpetrator is a cinnamon bear, and perhaps not the one Canadian authorities euthanized in their hasty attempt to close a missing person case.

Black Bearmindweb

Just last week, hunters found the partially eaten body of 54-year-old Rory Wagner, last seen when he left his job on May 21, reports the Canadian Press.

Wagner had told fellow workers that he wouldn't be showing up for work in subsequent days. Suicide is suspected as a cause of Wagner's death. Wagner's vehicle was found on an old logging road in the Canadian woodlands of British Columbia.

Vancouver Coroner Mark Coleman is certain Wagner was already dead when eaten by an opportunistic black bear. Coleman said he came to that conclusion based on an autopsy of the remains.

However, animal rights activists say that Canadian conservation officers may have jumped the gun in euthanizing a black bear they say had nothing to do with the "crime." If Wagner committed suicide, no actual crime was committed, they say.

Moreover, carrion-eaters are believed essential to environmental health.

Canadian conservation officers defend their decision. Dragging Wagner from his vehicle to the woodsy lair goes beyond environmental hygiene, they counter.

That's not the only issue upon which accounts differ. While conservation officers observed a black bear guarding Wagner's remains, there was no proof that the bear euthanized was the same bear they observed.

Still, Canadian authorities say they have euthanized the right bear based on forensic evidence. They say hairs from the black bear they killed matches hairs found in Wagner's empty vehicle.

Teeth and claw marks also match, according to authorities, but as bears don't have defense attorneys, the methods of evidence collection and analysis were never questioned.

The euthanized black bear was a victim of "profiling," say some observers. Whether authorities "profiled" the bear or not, the Canadian public is incensed, and comments on AP and other news outfits carrying the story reflect public outrage.

"They kill a bear that ate a murderer, but they incarcerate a murderer who ate a human. I don't get it," commented "Disco Duck."

The comment reveals another troubling aspect of the case. Wagner was a victim only in the sense that he had been eaten posthumously. But he was also a murderer.